Oujda – Building the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) is a historical achievement to be preserved and an inevitable strategic choice in the Maghreb region, AMU Secretary General Habib Ben Yahya said on Thursday.
Speaking at the opening of a symposium on reforms in Maghreb countries, Ben Yahya said that building the AMU is a need in a region that bridges Africa and Europe and boasts considerable economic potential.
He stressed the need for economic integration between Maghreb countries in order to boost investments and reinforce their positions in negotiating with other regional groupings.
The AMU countries lose 2% of their GNP due to the absence of economic integration, he added.
Echoing him, regional representative of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation Jurgen Theres deplored the feeble rates of exchange between AMU countries saying that “in a regional grouping sharing many characteristics, this situation is paradoxical.”
The non-Maghreb is not only a loss at the economic level but is an obstacle to university cooperation and scientific research, explained Yahya Abou El Farah, director of the Rabat-based Institute for African Studies.
The two-day event is held by the Mohammed I university, Oujda, and the Institute for African Studies in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
The symposium brings together professors from Maghreb countries, including Algeria, to ponder on the latest reforms undertaken in Maghreb countries in the political, economic and social fields.